gratitude-a-thon day 209: small bites friday

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You mean all that perfect marriage stuff wasn’t true between Khloe and Lamar? I thought it was a REALITY SHOW.

The story of one of the worst fonts out there. I vote it off the island, too.

Not a Calvin & Hobbes fan, but this is nicely done.

Were those sweat pants I slept in huddled under my covers last night?

Because you know, it’s too exhausting to eat your fries and your burger separately.

Lena Dunham. The best thing to happen to women’s body image since Spanx.

This is brilliant! Go Upworthy.

Broadchurch is a really good show. British accents get me every time.

Bryan Cranston is coming the A.R.T. getting tickets today. Definitely not “bad.”

 

gratitude-a-thon day 208: the beautiful and brilliant jessica

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This gratitude-a-thon is dedicated to my girl Jess, who moves into her dorm at Boston College today, and is about to take the world by storm!

You have everything you need to have the happiest life. Always remember your roots, as you have many that go deep and wide. But because of that, remember that you can fly high and far. Study, but don’t forget to stop and smell the beer. Spread your particular brand of joy around. The campus will be better off with the likes of you on it.

Lastly, the couch is always here. The blankets, the pillows, and a family that loves you. Now go. And be exceptional.

gratitude-a-thon day 207: teach your children well (and hope they listened TO SOMETHING)

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I don’t really know best, but I do know some stuff, and I did try my best to teach it to my kids. Did any of it get through? Jeez, I hope so.

As I wait impatiently for Jake to take to the college launch pad (it’s still two weeks away, will this never end), I have been reviewing my parenting over the years and wondering if I hit the high spots well enough to be confident that he’ll know what to do out there on his own (in particular, out there in Barcelona, biggest party city in the world, from what every single person I have spoken to about Barcelona, says. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.) This lead me to think about the really most important stuff I think taught my kids. Or, let’s just be real, that I think I taught them, but they may think I never mentioned.

1. Do your best. I have always told my competitive kids that all they had to ever do is their best. I mean, can you do better than your best? No, no you can’t. So, if you’re doing your best, then that’s all you can do and whatever the result, is the best result you could get. You know, because it’s your best. There’s nothing more to say here, is there?

2. Be nice. Gosh being nice is a good thing. I can’t believe how grateful I am when someone is nice to me. Even people I know well. Being nice can help you make friends and keep them. It can help you get a job and excel at it. And at the end of the day, it can help you feel like you’ve made the world a little bit better. Because you have.

3. Be polite. A cousin of “Be nice,” being polite wins points all over the place. Say “please”, say “gracias.” Shake someone’s hand. Send a “thank you” note. These things still matter. A lot, in fact.

4. Be a leader. Don’t follow the pack, unless the pack is doing something you think is really smart, or right, or good. Stand on your own two healthy feet, use your own unique and sensible brain, and make smart, good decisions. And then, you be the leader.

5. Be generous and help out. The world is full of people who need more than they have. I say, give what you can, in time, in money, in empathy. Lending a hand, can change someone else’s path for the better. It can also change your own path for the better, too.

6. Be optimistic. You might as well. What have you got to lose by looking at the bright side? This doesn’t mean, be ignorant. It just means to believe good things can happen. They can.

7. Be resilient. Maybe this is the most important of all the things I tried to get into my kids. This is one of the big ones to master. How do you get through the rough times? When you feel squashed by any number of things, and like you want to hide behind the shower curtain in the bathroom indefinitely, what do you do? You step outta that bathroom and take a step toward the next thing. Nothing lasts forever, not even the good stuff, unfortunately.  So when a tsunami hits, you have to  ride out the rough wave, tumble, churn, and then get up and walk your pretty self down the beach afterward. Life is good at throwing us curve balls. It’s fine to feel down, just so long as you don’t stay there. Shake it off. Learn how to push the forward button and move on.You will have to do it a bajillion times. Know that you can do this. Know you possess the strength. Know it will always get better.

Of course, there’s other stuff I tried in vain to teach them–clean your room, put your dishes in the dishwasher not the sink. Put your clothes in your dresser, and not on the floor of your room like a rug. Think. Turn off your fucking computer and the stupid TV once in a while and read a book. Listen to music. Dance. Exercise. Go to the beach. Laugh as much as humanly possible every single day. Call your mother.

The truth is, I’ll be grateful if they learned even one of these things, right? Barcelona, here he comes. Ready, or not.

gratitude-a-thon day 206: choosing what you let in

 

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I read about all the strife in the world and something in me shifts off. I quickly click to another story, not allowing the full impact of so much bad news to influence my day. What are we doing to each other? For all the good I choose to seek, there is an overwhelming amount of bad shit going on out there.

Here are a couple of the headlines on the Huffpost:

Verdict is clear: Assad has used chemical weapons.

Fukushima Operator calls for Help As Crisis Worsens

Daniel Hernandez Jr., Intern Who Helped Save Gabby Giffords, Faces Anti-Gay Smear Campaign

Wow, and that’s just three of the hundreds. I guess we all have to filter, or get under the covers. I always wonder how it is we teach kids to play nice, to use their words, but ultimately in the big world of politics, we don’t do that, instead turning to high and low tech weapons and man to man combat.

I choose to limit my consumption of the positively terrifying stuff that’s occurring. That doesn’t mean I will ignore it, but that I will make a decision about how much of it can penetrate me. I think if I didn’t do that, I’d sink to the bottom of the pond.  I guess there is a reason People Magazine (and Hotdogs or Legs) exist.

gratitude-a-thon day 205: looking forward

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It’s’ overcast today. And my mood seems to be following suit. While I spent a virtually perfect beach day at Crane’s with Peter, Ally and her friend Sydney yesterday, today I woke up with yucky feelings about Jake leaving in two weeks and Jessie, his girlfriend of three years, who I love and adore, leaving this Thursday.

I have never been good at saying goodbye. It tinkers with my balance, and swamps me with emotions that are big as a small midwestern farm. I have no talent here.

I keep wondering if I spent enough time with Jake. Did I teach him all he really needs to know? Did I instill the right stuff, or will he only remember the dribble?

The waterworks are on.

God dammit, I hate the end of things. And I especially hate the time just before the end of things.  This is an exciting moment  for Jake and Jess, and I have to force myself to look forward and not backward. I will work on that today. Grateful that I will get through it. And that they will, too.

gratitude-a-thon day 204: the costume designer

 

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I saw “Blue Jasmine” this weekend–Woody Allen’s latest. I enjoyed it mostly because Cate Blanchette’s performance was just insane. She was incredible in every way. I didn’t think it was a particularly great story, but it’s worth seeing to watch this performance.

This is an interesting article on the the costume designer, Suzy Benzinger. I did notice how spot-on Cate’s clothes were, in terms of the classics that make up an upper East Side lady who lunches.

I love movies. Every aspect. Yes, even the clothes.

gratitude-a-thon day 202: small bites friday

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And it’s another addition of small bites Friday! Yipee!

As if it wasn’t enough to have a month long ordeal with an infection and a root canal. I find out yesterday I now have a crack in a tooth, which will actually need to be REMOVED, and another re-root canal BECAUSE both ARE infected. You’d think I was from England. Gratitude to Dr. Les Miller. Sympathies to me.

Well, isn’t this interesting? Somewhat of in indictment of football all by itself. And a big fat yes to that.

Antoinette Tuff is just the freaking bomb. What a lady. This Anderson Cooper interview tells the story of a real hero, and a totally adorable and inspiring woman.

WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. An all-bacon restaurant. I’d definitely make a pig of myself!

And speaking of foods I love, here are 6 more reasons (besides that they’re just so damn delish) to eat avocados.

I love the whole google doodle thing. Yesterday’s was really beautiful.

This is a really good list of unnecessary things you must get immediately.

It’s been sunny for like 7 days in a row and the party isn’t going to end any time soon.

gratitude-a-thon day 201: hot-dog legs

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I say legs. You can see the little skin bumps on the right thigh.

Ok, you’re going to think this is ridiculous, because it is. IT IS RIDICULOUS. But last night, we were all hanging out together after dinner and Ally told us about this Facebook page called Hot-dog or Legs (although, I come to find out it’s actually called Hot-dog Legs, to be specific). I let out a howl, because it somehow really got up into my funny bone. Anyway, she showed it to me and I laughed even harder. I was doing my scream laugh, like I did when I saw Ellen Degeneres at The Orpheum.

Anyway, it’s on Tumblr, and it posts pictures of legs, or hot-dogs and you have to guess which. You may now be wondering about my A) intelligence B) sense of humor C) mental health, but I somehow I got totally caught up in this thing and actually could not stop myself from howling like a hyena. Not to mention, I was almost sure I could decipher the hotdogs from the legs every time, like a gosh darn expert (perhaps this will be my next career).

Here’s the thing, I just love that someone out there thought that was funny and went to the trouble of putting together a bunch of pictures. It’s absurd and bizarre and really, really creative. I love that in a world where crazy shit is happening all the time, somebody decided to create Hot-dog Legs. It’s perfect. It makes me want to dance.

Yeah, I’m going to check my meds right now, don’t worry.

gratitude-a-thon day 200: new pencils

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This is the time of year when school starting begins to become apparent and I feel the need for new pencils.

Actually, I feel the need for order. Complete and total orderliness. I guess that’s a way to tame my transition anxiety. And there has never been a bigger transitional year than this one. So, maybe I will get my house into tip top shape. I doubt it, but a girl can dream.

I don’t love cleaning. I love a clean house, and I love to make beauty where I live, but I’m a little bit of a hoarder and did I mention the three barnyard animals I live with? So, keeping things organized is sort of my job, and my job alone. And it’s too big for me. Plus, like I said, it’s not something I enjoy. I know you’re probably thinking, “Does ANYBODY enjoy cleaning?” But I know people who do. I know women who are really neat and keep things spotless and military regime orderly.  And they make me feel like a sloth. I have had a cleaning lady (who I LOVE) for 22 years (the same one) and she is part of our family. If I didn’t have her, my house would likely be condemned, and I would be shipped off to some sort of prison where messy mothers are taught how to use Windex. I should mention here that I make a lovely greeting card, and wrap a very nice gift, just so that you know that I’m not totally without skills.

Anyway, I am grateful that this year, I am just going to try and be nice to myself during this period before school and the big college departure takes place. I am going to try and put everything in its place, because I know that will bizarrely soothe me, while I step into this big change. So, as the leaves begin to morph from green to orange and yellow, I will be sharpening pencils (and hopefully not poking out my eyes with them).